Council Tax explained - Liverpool City Region Mayor and Combined Authority

Published: 13 March 2024

Since 2014, Wirral has been a member of the Liverpool City Region. So, what does this mean for you?

It means that Wirral residents can reap the benefits of devolved, local leadership – capturing opportunities that may previously have been out of reach and accessing funding only obtainable to areas with Combined Authority status.

Steve Rotheram is Mayor of the Liverpool City Region. Since he was elected in 2017, he has been committed to building a fairer, more equal future for the 1.6 million people who call our area home, where no one is left behind.

In what has been an incredibly challenging year for many households, Mayor Rotheram has made it his priority to ensure that families in our area feel protected from the worst impacts of the cost-of living crisis.

Putting our residents first, the Mayor is freezing the Mayoral precept for the fifth year running so that households on the Wirral will continue to pay the lowest rates in the country. In accordance with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s (Finance) Order 2017, the Mayor is seeking to set a precept for 2024/25 of £19 per Band D property. Most council tax payers across the city region will pay a Band A Council Tax rate of £12.67 per year – around £1.05 per month.

From the Mayor’s Young Person’s Guarantee, which promises all of our young people a job, training or apprenticeship, to Housing First, a radical new approach to helping the homeless, we are leading the way in building a fairer, more inclusive local economy.

To date thousands of our most vulnerable families have been helped to save hundreds of pounds on their energy bills as a result of the Mayor Rotheram’s £105m retrofitting programme – with many families given a chance to get on the property ladder in quality, affordable homes through his Brownfield Land Fund.

The Mayor’s interventions have created tens of thousands of jobs and apprenticeships, with more than £50m invested in local schools and colleges including Wirral Met College. Hundreds of long-term unemployed people have also been supported through our Households into Work programme.

More than £5m has been invested to support vulnerable learners and improve child literacy through Cradle to Career, which was piloted in North Birkenhead.

The Wirral’s visitor economy has been given a vital shot in the arm with the £6.5m we awarded to the new Eureka! Science and Discovery in Seacombe, alongside £5.5m invested in Kindred to support the local social trading sector. More than £300,000 has been invested to support Wirral’s year in the cultural spotlight as Borough of Culture 2024.

The Mayor is well on the way to building an integrated London-style public transport network that makes it cheaper, faster, cleaner and more reliable to get around – starting with the cost of a single adult bus journey being cut to just £2 until 2025 and unlimited bus travel for under 18s capped at £2.20.

Liverpool City Region residents also benefit from one of the most generous concessionary travel schemes in the country. Residents are entitled to receive their travel passes when they turn 60 – a full seven years ahead of the national scheme. There are also discount schemes that help young people, apprentices and people with disabilities to benefit from fare reductions or to travel for free.

The popular night bus service has also been reinstated to help residents travel safely across the Mersey into the early hours of the morning. More than £70m has also been invested in active travel infrastructure to make walking and cycling safer and easier than ever before.

Last year the Mayor made the historic decision to take back control of the region’s bus network, which will give local leaders greater say over fares, routes and timetables, there has been multi-million pound investment in new publicly-owned hydrogen buses and £500 million publicly-owned state-of-the-art trains, the most sophisticated and accessible in the whole country, which are now being rolled out on the Wirral line.

Ensuring the next generation inherits a greener, cleaner Liverpool City Region is a key priority for the Mayor – under his plans, we will hit net zero carbon by 2040 at the latest, at least a decade before national government targets. Our pioneering work on Mersey Tidal Power, which has the potential to generate enough renewable energy to power 1m homes and create thousands of local jobs and training opportunities, will have a big role to play in helping our city region hit its targets.

  2023 to 2024 2024 to 2025
Gross Expenditure £231,186,000 £241,908,000
Income and specific grants -£116,655,000 -£121,817,000
Income from Levy -£102,283,000 -£105,300,000
Contributions from Reserves -£4,190,000 -£6,694,000
Council Tax Requirement £8,058,000 £8,098,000
Tax base £424,133,000 £426,235,000
Band D Equivalent £19.00 £19.00

The movement in the gross expenditure budget is shown in the table below.

Gross expenditure 2023 to 2024 £231,186,000
Net Change in Revenue Grant Funded Activity £5,499,000
Increase in Net Debt Servicing Costs 2024 to 2025 £1,832,000
Removal of 2023 to 2024 specific items -£638,000
Employee Related Costs £3,398,000
Non-pay inflationary increases £4,170,000
Additional Net Savings -£3,535,000
Gross Expenditure 2024 to 2025 £241,908,000

Find out more about the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority

Transport Funding

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s (LCRCA) transport responsibilities are funded through transport levies across each of the six councils. This funds concessionary travel, subsidised bus services, the Mersey Ferries and a range of other services.

The transport levy 2024 to 2025 for each of the Merseyside Councils within the LCRCA is:

  Transport Levy
2023 to 2024
Transport Levy
2024 to 2025
Knowsley £11,138,000 £11,471,000
Liverpool £34,821,000 £36,276,000
Sefton £20,102,000 £20,518,000
St Helens £13,180,000 £13,486,000
Wirral £23,042,000 £23,548,000
Total £102,283,000 £105,300,000

For historical and legal reasons, Halton Borough Council currently provides transport activities directly within the boundaries of the borough of Halton.

The orders that created the Combined Authority allowed for a differential levy recognising that Halton Borough Council remains responsible for transport in the Halton area, whereas the other areas of the Combined Authority remain the responsibility of Merseytravel. This levy will be £3,397,000 for 2024 to 2025.

Mayor Steve Rotheram
Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

Mr John Fogarty, BA Hons
CPFA Director of Corporate Services
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority